Mel’s Adventures in the Excited States Part One

So after the race in San Dimas I drove to Tucson, Arizona.  My plan was a three week cycling build to get my bike legs back up to speed.  Although I am happy with how I performed in San Dimas, I really have done more running than cycling so far this season because of poor weather in Victoria.  In reality I was well behind where I planned to be at this point in the year so this trip to Tucson couldn’t have been better timed.

We are lucky to have our friends Kirsten and Murray.   In addition to being a load of fun, they rented an enormous house in Tucson and invited Ross and I to come stay.  I ended up having a homestay in Tucson with friends from Victoria, a perfect mix to try to stave off homesickness!  Kirsten and Murray were wonderful housemates for this whole trip.  I am not sure they expected me for three weeks… but I tried to make up for it by being the resident chef.  My first week with them I got myself organized, did some of the Tucson Bicycle Classic and gathered Ross from the airport.  Part one of the story will be the week and a half with Ross.. part two and maybe three will be the finale of the trip.  This is part uber-geek training recap and part interesting adventures during our stay in Tucson….READ MORE

Ross after conquering Mt Lemmon….

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US Mountain Bike Cup #1 – Bonelli Park, California


This week was a blur.  At first I didn’t think I was going to have a mountain bike to race on the weekend so I had basically resigned myself to staying home in Victoria until the Fontana race at the end of March (as I had last season).  But then, all of a sudden, Ian the star at Specialized found something in his tickle trunk and I had a S-works hardtail to ride on the weekend.   So that meant a hasty departure from Victoria the next day.  I managed to talk Ross into letting me take his car (bigger and let’s face it, nicer!) and at the same time I talked him into booking a ticket to Tucson to stay for 10 days with Kirsten, Murray and I so I wouldn’t miss him so much being gone for 4-5 weeks.  So Wednesday I left Victoria, Thursday I got to Morgan Hill, Friday I did the noon ride at Specialized HQ where I grabbed a bunch of goodies before departing to Aliso Viejo.  Saturday I found myself pre-riding the first US Cup mountain bike on a Specialized bike with a Brain fork for the first time.  Sweet!

I have a bunch of pictures from the fun “other than racing” events this week but for the race fans I will do a quick recap of the race so you don’t have to go further.  The first US Cup at Bonelli Park was very impressive.  The support from Sho-Air, Specialized and Kenda Tires is awesome.  These people are really breathing new life into the sport.  Ty and Scott and Sho-Air have truly revamped the “series formerly known as NORBA”.  It was insane to see 700 people come to do a cross country mountain bike race.  Very cool.  The weather was hot and the course was hard, fast and fun.  Krista Park was too much for me on race day with a very strong finish.  I blew up with about half a lap to go.  Meanwhile, Krista had been stalking me and rode by me very strong while I coasted on fumes to the finish.  Great job Krista!  Also good job to Sid Taberly and Sam Jurekovic for taking 1-2 for Sho-Air as well.  Thanks very much to the guys at Sho-Air for taking good care of me in the feed zone and giving me a personal tour of the course on the day before the race.  If you haven’t been to an XC event in awhile, you might want to go have a look.  There is a whole new thing going on in mountain biking.

So other than the race, I have stories about my dinner at Montage the night before (not ideal as far as race prep but 100% necessary to add to my life experience and new friends list), my crazy driving habits and my fun friends.. read on for details…

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